Even when achieving morphological complete remission (CR) after induction therapy, roughly half of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients display measurable residual disease (MRD) and eventually relapse. The surface receptor FLT3/CD135 is expressed on AML cells in almost all patients and constitutes a highly selective target antigen for immunotherapy, as expression on healthy tissues is limited to low levels on dendritic cells, monocytes and hematopoietic progenitor cells. FLYSYN is a chimeric Fc-optimized IgG1 antibody that binds specifically and with high avidity to human FLT3 (CD135). Here we report updated results of an open-label, single-arm, first in man multicenter trial (recruitment March 2017 to March 2020) evaluating safety/tolerability and preliminary efficacy of FLYSYN in patients with AML (NCT02789254). Morphological CR with stable or increasing MRD in two sequential measurements using central RT-qPCR and/or next generation sequencing (NGS) constituted the main inclusion criterion. FLYSYN was administered i.v. over 3 h as single application in cohorts 1-5 (0.5 mg/m², 1.5 mg/m², 5 mg/m², 15 mg/m², 45 mg/m²); in cohort 6, 15 mg/m² were applied on day 1, 15 and 29. Three patients were treated per cohort except for cohorts 4 and 6, which were expanded to comprise 9 and 10 patients, respectively. Molecular response was defined as >1 log MRD reduction or negativity in bone marrow (BM). In total, 31 patients (median age 58 years; range, 21-80 years; male:female ratio: 1:1.8) were enrolled, of which 27, 3 and 1 were MRD-positive for mutated NPM1, mutated IDH2 and RUNX1-RUNX1T1, respectively. Based on pharmacokinetic analysis, the half-life of FLYSYN was estimated to be 6.5 days. In 8 patients (26%), a transient decrease of neutrophil count (2 adverse events (AEs) grade 3, others ≤ grade 2) was observed. No relevant effect on stem cell reserve as assessed by colony forming unit assays was detected in the so far analyzed 26 patients. No other AE > grade 2 or dose-limiting toxicity were observed. The most frequent AEs were unspecific and comprised fatigue and flu like symptoms (12%), musculoskeletal symptoms (8%) and laboratory abnormalities (42%). With regard to efficacy, molecular response to treatment was achieved in 11/31 patients (35%), with so far two patients achieving MRD negativity documented one year after treatment. Among the patients receiving 45 mg/m2 FLYSYN (in total, upon single or repetitive dosing), objective responses were achieved in 46% (6/13) cases, whereas 28% (5/18) responded to treatment with lower doses.
Together, the results of our phase I trial demonstrate that FLYSYN is safe and very well tolerated as monotherapy in AML patients with molecular MRD. Early efficacy data are promising and warrant further evaluation in an up-coming phase II clinical trial.
Heuser:PriME Oncology: Honoraria; Novartis: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Pfizer: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Stemline Therapeutics: Consultancy; Janssen: Consultancy; Astellas: Research Funding; Roche: Research Funding; BerGenBio ASA: Research Funding; Daiichi Sankyo: Consultancy, Research Funding; Bayer: Consultancy, Research Funding; Amgen: Research Funding; Karyopharm: Research Funding; Abbvie: Consultancy. Thol:Astellas: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Pfizer: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Daiichi Sankyo: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Abbvie: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Celgene: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. Kapp-Schwoerer:Jazz Pharmaceuticals: Honoraria, Research Funding. Grosse-Hovest:Synimmune: Current Employment. Steiner:Synimmune: Current Employment. Schlenk:Roche: Research Funding; Novartis: Speakers Bureau; Daiichi Sankyo: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: Travel, Accomodations, Expenses, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; PharmaMar: Research Funding; AstraZeneca: Research Funding; Pfizer: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau. Salih:Pfizer: Consultancy; Medigene: Consultancy; Novartis: Consultancy; Philogen: Consultancy; Synimmune: Consultancy, Research Funding.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.